Locarno, Switzerland...16 July, 2010
A late night in DJFletch's room last night, he kicked us out at 4 this morning. I slept in 'til 11, got up made some coffee in the room then ventured out for my mission of the day...the purchase of deodorant. As mentioned, we're staying a posh part of Milan and the only pharmacy close sold it for an astounding 10 Euro!!! An outrage, but when you've run out, you're over a barrel. Methinks it's a tax deduction. Business expenses? Maybe. Back to the hotel to lick my wounded credit card and practise before leaving for the pleasant hour and half car journey to Locarno.
We had an extra car today so nobody had to sit uncomfortably in the way back for the long ride. Our road manager Tim Hook drove the extra car while our German drivers manned the original three Mercedes. When it came time to leave I piled in Tim's car with Mark's personal manager Paul Crockford. We were a little slow getting out of the hotel drive way and were not together with the other cars, still, the sat-nav (satellite navigator) was set for Locarno and off we went. Got stuck in local traffic and finally onto the motorway. After an hour or so the GPS directed us to get off and we ended up on local roads with outlet malls and home improvement super stores. Tim got suspicious, pulled off and realised the sat-nav had been set for Locarno, Italy not Locarno, Switzerland. After much back and forth and ribbing from PC and I, he re-set the sat-nav and drove another hour and a half to the intended destination. I suspect Tim will be many years living this down and I have realised my place in the car chain...stay with the musicians. We arrived at 7 and I was absolutely starving. Tore in to catering and ate the world, I don't even know what I ate except that I devoured loads of it.
Tonight's show was one of the most beautiful settings I've ever played. A large town square in Locarno, surrounded by old apartment buildings painted, peach, blue, yellow, brown...all lit, and down the winding street a beautiful old clock tower. The square was jam packed as far as the eye could see...shoulder to shoulder, people standing on the balconies of their apartments drinking and watching the show and even people standing in the arches of the clock tower. By mid-show a crescent moon began rising over the horizon. Our itinerary says the capacity was 10,000 but judging from the sea of people it would have been more like 15,000+. Another hot, steaming gig but one of the best we've played of the tour and the audience was fantastic. The show flew by and before I knew it we were playing the last encore. I didn't want it to end. I hope to come back here and play the Moon and Stars Festival again, it was magic.
The last song finished and we were back in the cars for the trip back to Milan. This time I got in my usual car with Mike and John driven by Fabian Schulze and it's a miracle how much quicker the journey home was compared to this afternoon...just kidding Tim. We had sandwiches, a grand bottle of red wine and beers to speed the journey.